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Avalon vs Quartz 2D

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  • User profile image
    ACT10Npack

    I own a powerbook and I own a PC. Tiger is going to be release today around 6pm. Well, what I don't understand and you can help me out is what's the different between Quartz 2D from Tiger to Avalon from Longhorn? I know Avalon is going to support 3D somewhat and Quartz 2D is only 2D.

    I would like to know, which one will be better or whats the advantages over the other?

  • User profile image
    MisterDonut

    One major thing is the ease of development. Using XAML (or whatever the name becomes) makes using Vector-based graphics extremely easy to use for non-programmers. I haven't programmed on a Mac (so someone correct me here, if need be), but with Avalon, you can code in XML, specifying colors, images, animations, camera movement, etc. and make a serious front-end without dev experience.

    Additionally, I think the Avalon engine pushes a lot of processing to the GPU, as opposed to the CPU, making graphics not have to compete with any other applications open.

    And, I think the "3d Somewhat" is a bit misleading. It supports 3d, period. I'd suggest you look at some of the videos. There was one this week at WinHEC, and it might completely amaze you, as it did me.

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    MisterDonut wrote:
    Additionally, I think the Avalon engine pushes a lot of processing to the GPU, as opposed to the CPU, making graphics not have to compete with any other applications open.


    Indeed this is exactly what Quartz Extreme has been doing for quite a while.

  • User profile image
    MisterDonut

    Did not know that. Do you know how hard / easy it is to program against the Extreme Quartz platform?

    Kinda curious to see whether or not it's as easy as Avalon or not.

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    MisterDonut wrote:
    Did not know that. Do you know how hard / easy it is to program against the Extreme Quartz platform?

    Kinda curious to see whether or not it's as easy as Avalon or not.


    You can't use XML to my knowledge, but I don't think it is particularly hard. I can confirm it certainly isn't as easy as Avalon will be when it is released. Of course there is I suppose nothing to stop someone writing something to render xaml on OSX.

  • User profile image
    eddwo

    Quartz Extreme has been doing the equivelent of what the desktop compositor will do on Longhorn. It does not do the actual drawing on the graphics card, just blending the finished windows together on the desktop.

    According to this
    http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/macosx-10.4.ars/14

    Apple have created Quartz 2D Extreme for Tiger, which would be an equivelant for Avalon, but it is not enabled in the final release. I guess it will get turned on in one of the 10.4.x updates.


    There is a tool in Tiger called the Quartz Composer, which sounds a though it is a graphical designer to help people make the most of the capabilities of the quartz display model.

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    eddwo wrote:
    There is a tool in Tiger called the Quartz Composer, which sounds a though it is a graphical designer to help people make the most of the capabilities of the quartz display model.


    Oh cool. You learn something new everyday. I'll let you know what it is like tomorrow Smiley

    There is a little more here, and it looks to be related in some way to Pixelshox

  • User profile image
    MisterDonut

    Interesting. Any pointers to info on how hard / how easy it is would be great. I ask, because I haven't seen any "wow" graphics out of Apple applications like I have seen with Avalon. I'm sure they're out there, but you have to admit the ease of use really makes it likely people will use it. (Clarify: I've seen neat graphics made in like photoshop, but I'm referring to someone's coded program)

    I wonder how long it'd take someone to write a Xaml rendering tool for OSX. It seems like it took Microsoft forever.



  • User profile image
    MisterDonut

    Thanks for all the links, people.

  • User profile image
    matt0210

    There's a really good article over at ars. You can skip the whole load of Tiger (http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/macosx-10.4.ars) and go straight to the parts on http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/macosx-10.4.ars/14">Quarz 2D Extreme

    The composition of the windows is the main problem on OSX because all the vectors have to be converted to bitmaps. It looks like Tiger goes another step towards optimizing this process. It's a good article!

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    The RSS Reader screensaver in Tiger (video) is apparently written in Quartz Composer..

  • User profile image
    matt0210

    eddwo wrote:
    Quartz Extreme has been doing the equivelent of what the desktop compositor will do on Longhorn. It does not do the actual drawing on the graphics card, just blending the finished windows together on the desktop.

    According to this
    http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/macosx-10.4.ars/14

    Apple have created Quartz 2D Extreme for Tiger, which would be an equivelant for Avalon, but it is not enabled in the final release. I guess it will get turned on in one of the 10.4.x updates.


    There is a tool in Tiger called the Quartz Composer, which sounds a though it is a graphical designer to help people make the most of the capabilities of the quartz display model.


    Dang-it, I hate fast people Smiley

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    MisterDonut wrote:

    It seems like it took Microsoft forever.



    Well they've done all the hard work now, should be easier, depending on the .Net dependance. I'd put money on other platforms ending up with something that runs xaml.


    Apparently Tiger is waiting for me at home, I will be able to check it out even sooner Smiley
  • User profile image
    eddwo

    Well its not like Microsoft set out to create a Xaml renderer.

    First they decided what capabilities their new graphics platform should have, taking into account the capabilities that would exist on GPUs at the time the platform would be released.

    Then they decided how to make those capabilities accessible to developers, by creating a consistent API for the object model that makes it easy to do the basic stuff and possible to do the really impressive stuff.

    Then they created their own XML syntax for building object graphs declaritively, using concepts like dependency properties and several different condensed syntaxs for paths, timelines and property binding.

    Creating the specification for a general platform is always going to take longer than implementing it.

  • User profile image
    TimP

    That RSS screensaver in Tiger looks sweet. Smiley

  • User profile image
    androidi

    I wonder did Apple get desperate and copy the Quartz name straight from MS when looking at the system32 dir Wink

    http://www.simplegeek.com/commentview.aspx/a09c8a32-b4d0-47ce-8186-0c5e7beae66b

    Just joking though Wink

  • User profile image
    eddwo

    Gotta say that Quartz Composer is pretty awesome. You just snap blocks together to create real time 3D animations. I think Microsoft could learn from that for creating a timeline editor for Avalon. I played around with the RSS Screensaver, changing the background animation, adding the RSS feed title name to the screen, changing the speed etc. Couldn't get much easier.

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